VMware is positioning vSphere as its effort toward "bringing cloud computing to the datacenter." VMware first announced the broad details of its vision during last September's VMworld conference. At that time, VMware called the technology a "Virtual Datacenter Operating System", or VDC-OS.
The idea behind VDC-OS was to make all datacenter components, like processors, memory and storage, one big pool of resources that could be drawn upon as necessary. In the cloud computing vision, those internal clouds will connect with external clouds, providing levels of efficiency, scalability and disaster recovery capability never before seen.
Although VMware has kept the details of most of the new functionality private, it has previewed several key parts in the past. One of the most significant upgrades in vSphere will be VMware Fault Tolerance, which will increase application availability for mission-critical apps. VMware CTO Stephen Herrod, in his presentation at last September's VMworld that VMware Fault Tolerance will keep an exact copy of an application on a mirrored server, for automatic failover in the event of a server crash.
Another long-expected new technology is VMsafe, which will provide an application programming interface (API) for third-party vendors to build security products to work with vSphere. That will be especially important in cloud computing scenarios, where private and sensitive data will cross traditional security boundaries like firewalls.
VMware CEO Paul Maritz will officially unveil vSphere, including details about pricing and availability, during a live Webcast starting at 9 a.m. PT Tuesday.
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